DeWitt Bert Edwards was born August 14, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Artheta Johnson-Edwards and Daniel Garrett (both preceding him in death). He was educated in the St. Louis Public School system and graduated from Soldan High School in 1971. He attended the St. Louis Community College of Forest Park, where he studied history and finished his college career at Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where his major was graphic artist designs. Upon his return to St. Louis Missouri, he became a graphic artist for many years. He switched careers in 1990 and became a doorman at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, of which he remained until he retired in 2011. He was greatly involved in coaching the youth at organizations such as Wohl Recreation Center and Matthews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club of Missouri. As time passed, he joined and became highly active in the Mid-Western district church basketball leagues.
DeWitt was baptized in The Name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost at Temple Church of Christ, under the leadership of the late Bishop Samuel Austin Layne; he faithfully served under that leadership, which was followed by the leadership of Elder Clifford Wayne Matthews, Sr. When the Lord saved DeWitt, he poured upon and within him the “Gift of Tongues,” which was displayed in the most awesome manner. He served on the Deacon’s ministry for many years, until God called him to preach. He was ordained as an Elder in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World by the Late Bishop James A. Johnson on June 18, 1998. He served actively as a member of the church, became an associate elder under Elder Clifford W. Matthews’ leadership while at Temple Church of Christ and Place of Hope Recovery and Restoration. At Temple, he served as president of the Ministerial Alliance Ministry, where he trained and groomed many ministers. He took great pleasure in assisting the ministers in finding his or her gifts versus talents. At a critical point in his ministry, Elder Edwards shared with the leadership that God was calling him into Intercessory Prayer. He stopped preaching and started praying. For many years, Elder Edwards faithfully, consistently, and unwaveringly warred in Intercessory Prayer on behalf of God’s people daily, privately, and collectively on Tuesday nights. During his time as an intercessor, he put together packets of strategic and tactical prayer manuals, sharing them with everyone in the church or outside of it. He also loved young people, and with the love they had for him, upon seeing him enter the church or a room, would yell out to him with arms raised “G.P.,” which stood for God’s Property. He would respond to them, “Are you with me? We got the church and ain’t going nowhere.” He could sit and talk for hours with any individual, regardless of the topic. He was full of laughter and humor. He wanted everyone to know the right manner one should approach God in prayer. He was known to meet individuals in the streets, witness to them, add their name to his pages and pages of names that he kept and prayed for in the early morning hours and then again at 6:00 p.m. daily, in the evening. In July 2017, Elder Edwards became a member of Faith Miracle Temple under the leadership of Apostle Larry J. Baylor and Doctor Elder Marlon T. Baylor, where he faithfully remained until God called him home.
DeWitt married Deborah G. Matthews on August 13, 1977, and of this union God gave them three children: Nakesha, Nicole, and DeWitt Anthony, Sr. He was a loving and faithful husband and a devoted father who believed that God’s way was right and true, that there was no other way that one should live. He was not one who would change to look a certain way before others, but what you saw in public was the same that you saw in private. He reared his children in the beauty of holiness and never backed down from what he believed God’s way and word required. He loved to interact with his children, but his grandchildren held a most special place in his heart. He would make time to talk, laugh, or even try to dance in his way with his grandchildren. They always brought a certain light to his eyes, laughter to his mouth, and love from his heart, and he needed hugs, hugs, hugs, from them. DeWitt was loved by many. He wanted nothing more than to please God, and to faithfully serve him. He was known and called “Mr. Smiles” by many on his job before retiring from the Ritz Carlton Hotel. He brought many to laughter when he would attempt to educate one on his belief that “Women don’t fight like men,” or “You don’t know the power of a woman,” and “Watch out Man!”
At a very young age in his children’s lives, he’d teach them little songs that no one had ever heard before that they still cherish today. DeWitt loved God and his wife, and family meant the world to him. As much as he loved music, basketball was his second love. DeWitt Edwards walked in honesty and integrity. He had great compassion for the homeless, and was a great man of God. His heart’s desire was that no one would be lost, as he wanted to see everyone saved. As much as he loved God’s word, he was passionate in reciting, studying to show himself approved. He studied to rightly divide the word of truth, and committed it to memory. He held onto many scriptures; however, his favorite scripture can be found in Ecclesiastes 9:11 that reads, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” In January 2010, DeWitt was diagnosed with a horrible disease called Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia, Alzheimer’s. Out of the many things DeWitt forgot, he never forgot to raise his hand in worship and sing praises to God with the tunes that still resonated in his spirit. When he could no longer communicate understandably, one would see his lips moving and if asked, “Are you praying?” His response was always a shake of the head in a, “Yes!” Although the words escaped him regarding music, the tune, the rhythm, or the beat of the music stayed with him.
On May 11, 2022, the Lord called our loving DeWitt home to be with Him. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Marion Edwards and Murial Madison, and three brothers Ervin Edwards, Floyd Edwards, and Lloyd Edwards. He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife of 44 years, Deborah G. Edwards; two daughters, Nakesha Sewer (Marvin) and Nicole Edwards; one son, DeWitt A. Edwards, Sr.; one daughter-in-love, Aja Edwards; one bonus daughter, Dianna Collins; eight grandchildren, DeWitt Anthony, Jr., Mahki, Asia, Victoryia, Cameron, Kaleb, Zion, and Lalia; two honorary grandchildren, Malia and Brianna Collins; sisters, Ramona Edwards, and Mildred Lovett; one brother, Terry Edwards; and a host of loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, as well as a host of godchildren and friends.
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